Letter Re: A Different Look at the Tactical Flashlight

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Hugh,

I enjoyed D. Hacker’s article on flashlight use, and I look forward to trying the technique. Here are a couple of additions for the readers from a night shift cop:

  • Hacker hit on it a little bit talking about not cheating from reflective light. One of my favorite light techniques is simply pointing the beam at the ceiling when entering a dark room. The reflective light from most modern flashlights is enough to fully light up the room.
  • If your light technique does not illuminate your sights, this may not be a totally bad thing. You can get a really crisp sight picture with the black sights on a lit target, but like Hacker said, it takes practice.
  • Lastly, I use both. I have a weapon mounted light. I also carry and use a flashlight. You don’t have to choose either or. Everything has a place. I agree with all of the statements about safety. Your weapon light is not a “search” light. However, there are times when you may need to. When searching something that requires opening doors or cupboards, or anything that occupies one hand, it helps to have a weapon light if you cannot utilize a partner to open for you. Think about having to lift a mattress with one hand, a ground cellar door, or the gate on a camper shell if the hydraulic lifts are broken. Or fighting with someone on the ground and having to point your pistol at another approaching person in the dark.

The other aspect of a weapon light I use is once you have identified a target (Note: not threat or you would be shooting, but something that constitutes pointing your gun at, like giving someone verbal commands), you can turn the weapon light on and use a two handed grip.

Also, if you are reduced to one functioning hand from injury, it may be the only light you have.

All that being said, I am not advocating a weapons light only approach. I only use mine as a search light in very few circumstances, where the safety risk justifies it. My point is don’t choose; use both. I’ve enjoyed having you on board HJL. Thanks for all you do. – LEO in the southwest.

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